Ireland’s national rail operator, Iarnród Éireann, saw passenger numbers rise by 5.3 per cent to 39.8 million in 2015, according to statistics released by the National Transport Authority.

Irish Rail bucked a trend of increasing patronage across the country’s public transport network, with Dublin’s Luas light rail and bus networks both reporting higher passenger figures in 2015.

Anne Graham, chief executive of the National Transport Authority said: “These are strong growth figures for the sector, and the operators and their staff should be proud of their achievements.”

An additional two million passenger journeys were recorded across the Irish Rail network from 2014 – the most significant increase for several years.

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